ActionAid Ghana, an affiliate of ActionAid, a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty has noted with grave concern a viral video in which a 90-year-old alleged witch is being brutalised. We wish to condemn this barbaric act and would like to put on record that we would ensure that this 90-year-old woman gets justice. Such gross disrespect of human rights has no place in modern history.
For many years, ActionAid Ghana and its partners have worked tirelessly on the issue of alleged witches and through the work of the Reintegration Committee, comprising of representatives from institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice as well as the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit, we have been able to close down a number of alleged witch camps with the latest being the Nabuli camp which was officially closed in December 2019.
We would like to add our voice to the numerous voices calling on the law enforcement agencies to bring the culprits of this heinous crime to book. Additionally, we wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the fact that violence against women is deeply rooted in patriarchy and an imbalance of power which often puts women at a disadvantage making them vulnerable to all forms of violence and abuse. The violence and discrimination suffered by the accused women is a key barrier to them realising their rights and to the achievement of social justice.
Of all the abuses of rights around the world, violence against women is one of the most widespread. In view of this, we cannot address the structures that enable brutality of alleged witches without deconstructing the very elements that feed the imbalance of power which puts women at the risk of such violence and abuse.
It is important that we respect, uphold, and protect the rights of all. No one deserves to be brutalised, lynched or murdered on a mere suspicion of witchcraft. This act sets us backwards and completely derails all efforts by well-meaning developmental agencies working to ensure the protection of women’s rights.
We call on all opinion leaders in the Kafaba community of the Savannah Region to support the Police in the discharge of their duties and ensure justice is served. The masterminds of this murder need to face the full rigors of the law.
In conclusion, we would like to call on all Ghanaians and defenders of human rights to join ActionAid Ghana and its partners as we intensify our efforts to stop the abuse. Women’s Rights are Human Rights!